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After the late 1940s, many of non-European overseas immigrants arrived, predominantly from the colonies, including people of Indian and African ancestry from the West Indies and Guyana; people from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; and Chinese from Hong Kong and Singapore.
The 1991 census, the first to include ethnic background, enumerated three million Britons of non-European birth or ancestry. Regional and cultural relationships are expressed in marked linguistic differences.
Support for soccer and rugby teams became significant during the twentieth century, and teams now command fierce local loyalties as sport has come to symbolize male pride and self-image in a society where mining and manufacturing have declined.
Forms of personal commitment that transcend locality include vegetarianism and environmentalism: the first is predominantly middle class and female, and the second is identified less with gender and socioeconomic status.
Northern Ireland and Scotland have separate legal and educational systems and issue their own currency; Wales is fully incorporated within the English legal, educational, and banking systems.
Recent referendums in Scotland and Wales have resulted in the establishment of a Scottish Parliament which is still under the general jurisdiction of London but has limited local taxraising powers, and the Welsh Assembly, which does not have tax-raising powers.
Except for some areas of barren upland and bog, most of the land is suitable for agriculture and has been grazed or cultivated since the Bronze Age.
The natural vegetation is mixed oak woodland, but most of the terrain has been cleared for agriculture or for shipbuilding and charcoal for smelting.
The British and Irish parliaments were united in 1801.
Similarly, Scottish and Welsh people have settled in England.
Most British people have ancestries that are mixtures of the four nationalities of the British Isles.
These differences are associated with loyalties to one's place of birth or residence and for many people are important aspects of self-identity; non-English native languages are little spoken but in recent years have gained significance as cultural and political symbols.
These languages include Scots Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish, and Irish (commonly referred to as the Celtic languages); there is also the Old Norse language of the Northern Isles (Orkney and especially Shetland) and the Norman French patois of the Channel Islands.